updated 10:03 am EDT, Tue May 8, 2012
Apple thought to be in rush to slow down Samsung
Late on Monday, Apple and Samsung both agreed to drop several patent infringement claims in the companies' California legal battle, according to FOSS Patents. Apple is said to have started the process, filing to drop roughly half of its claims. Five hours later Samsung followed suit, offering drop five out of 12 patents, but still arguing that Apple's case is too large to go to trial in the summer. In its filing Apple accused Samsung of being uncooperative.
Apple is believed to be in a rush to slow down Samsung. It alleges that Samsung has now become number one in global smartphone sales as a result of infringement, and that Apple is at this point owed billions of dollars in damages. "While the parties have been readying the case for trial Samsung has vaulted into first place in worldwide sales of smartphones, with massive sales of its copycat products," Apple's court documents read, referring to a Washington Post article. "Samsung's infringement of Apple's intellectual property has already resulted in damages that reach billions of dollars. [...] It is critical to Apple to start trial on July 30, to put an end to Samsung's continuing infringement."
Samsung's position is that Apple is "[u]nable to compete in the marketplace, and "instead seeking to compete through litigation, requesting injunctions against the full lineup of Samsung's mobile phones and tablet products." The company further charges that "Apple has only been able to muster utility patents covering extremely minor user interface features, and design patents and trade dresses that offer far narrower protection than Apple urges."
Apple and Samsung are scheduled to have settlement talks on May 21st and 22nd, drawing in the CEOs of both parties. The companies may be eager to settle to avoid further time and expense; Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously expressed a willingness to settle at least some of the company's patent lawsuits, so long as Apple doesn't end up developing ideas for the rest of the industry.